The most furry place in the universe? San Francisco’s Frolic party – interview with Neonbunny
by Patch O'Furr
Coming soon -one a week posting this month:
A four part interview with Neonbunny, founding DJ and promoter of Frolic.
- Part 1) Counterculture to Furry – Neon’s background in the SF Bay Area.
- Part 2) Starting Frolic – Throwing parties and finding other furries.
- Part 3) The furry scene – Frolic’s venue: The Stud – Promoting and operating Frolic.
- Part 4) Controversy and success – Music, DIY culture, Furry events, sex, drama, and more.
For many furries in the world, the San Francisco Bay Area is the place to be. For many in the Bay, Frolic is THE most furry place. It’s not the only center, but it’s an influential one. It’s not just the best Furry party… I’d call it the best party San Francisco has, period.
Since it started in 2010, Frolic has inspired club nights to spring up across the USA – a subculture movement. Every month, it brings dedicated supporters who travel from hours away. It attracts out-of-towner friends, who show up as superstar of the night for regulars who appreciate them back the same way.
It makes a ripple in local culture in general, attracting a section of curiosity seekers who want to see what furries are. Occasionally, drunk bachelorettes roll up in a limo to annoy tolerant regulars with too many selfies. Often, the party is a gateway for newcomers who come back in freshly sewn fur. (Like me!)
It’s become a local monthly mini-con, and branched out to do a once-a-year special club night, coinciding with January’s Further Confusion con, 45 minutes south in San Jose. There’s also a once-a-year outdoor free festival in the park, “Furries in the Wild,” across the bay in Oakland.
Other parties seem tepid after Frolic. It tops them with more hugs (even between dogs and cats) and a positively-freaky, are-those-costumes-or-am-I-hallucinating? vibe found nowhere else.
It’s an explosion of bunnies and beats, best experienced with as many stiff specials of the night as the bartender can dream up. At The Stud, a historic gay bar, you’re not a customer- you’re a pet to spoil. Everyone dresses the part.
You can rub shoulders (and more) with punk rock werewolves, leather fetish bears, or the Easter bunny and a team of reindeer. Women and men go – all that matters is your chosen species. “Fur-Suitors” go to admire fursuiters. SF Weekly called it the “Best Consent-Based Nightclub Petting Zoo.”
Try to present this as a “family friendly” scene, and you might have a hard time putting two friends together only for side-hugs. (I’m being a little silly- some go just to meet friends outside.) Inside, for furries who prefer prudish fun, it’s a nightmare… for others, it’s a dream come true.
Pause for an important disclaimer: it’s NOT a representation for all furries. It’s only a section, representing themselves. Not everyone is into night clubbing or mature things. Some are squeaky clean, so don’t assume.
Like any responsible adults, furries can have fun at a night club, and take their grandma to church in the morning. Or make art, write, or perform like people in other genres that aren’t exploited to amuse judgemental strangers. They’re just people with sex lives and regular lives who aren’t hurting anybody. They’re extra accepting and friendly. When I bring new people, they say it’s the most friendly people they have ever partied with.
Neonbunny, founding DJ and promoter of Frolic, met me for a long interview over dinner. His partner Jody who handles tech, lighting and animation was with us.
The interview was a year ago, just after they got back from 2013’s Burning Man event in Nevada. 2014’s burn is going on as I write, so I figured time was up to finally post it. (It just took me a long time to get around to transcribing audio.)
The 90 minute interview has 4 parts, with one a week posting this month.
Check for more next week!
Pics courtesy of Neonbunny and Tasty Eagle.